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Kenyan to speak on international peace

Dr. Hizkias Assefa, director of the Nairobi Peace Initiative based in Kenya, will return to Duluth for a workshop on "Class and Coexistence: Towards reconciliation in the current global order."...

Dr. Hizkias Assefa, director of the Nairobi Peace Initiative based in Kenya, will return to Duluth for a workshop on "Class and Coexistence: Towards reconciliation in the current global order."
The event, endorsed by Women Speak for a Sane World, the Arrowhead Interfaith Council and the Duluth-Superior Friends Meeting, is set for Monday, Jan. 14, at Pilgrim Congregational Church. Assefa will give in-depth presentations and conduct small-group discussions from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The event, which is free and open to the public, with contributions for lunch accepted, may also continue from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for those interested in more evening discussion with Assefa.
Kathy Anderson, one of the people who helped organize the event, said this is a return trip for Assefa, who was here in August.
"He was really very much admired," she said.
Assefa is expected to address the root causes of conflict and crisis in the current global order, responses to those conflicts, peace and its core values, reconciliation as a response and Americans' role in the reconciliation process.
Anderson said she expected Assefa to address how the United States can deal with global realities in an age of terrorism.
"We very much asked him to talk about these methods in the face of Sept. 11," she said.
Assefa brings a world of experience to the workshop. An Ethiopian who lives in Kenya, he has been involved in diplomacy and peace efforts in some of the world's most troubled places, including Sudan, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa and Columbia. Sudan and Somalia are frequently mentioned as potential targets in the war on terrorism.
He also brings credentials. Assefa received his doctorate in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, where he specialized in conflict analysis and resolution, international organizations, diplomacy and negotiation and international political economy.
Assefa also holds master's degrees in economics and in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a master's degree in law from Northwestern University in Chicago.
Assefa has written or co-written numerous journal articles, books and book chapters, as well, including "Extremist Groups and Conflict Resolution." He has also won many awards and honors.
Anderson said the emphasis is on international affairs, but the methods and techniques apply more generally.
"Clearly, everybody who's interested in this is invited," she said. "And there will be a lot of opportunity for discussion."
Kyle Eller is features editor for the Budgeteer News. Reach him at kyle.eller@duluth.com or 723-1207.

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